What is your personal stance on the current state of victims’ rights in America?
I believe that everyone that has been a victim of abuse past or present and even future should have the proper rights to be able to cope with their abuse. According to http://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/victims'-rights, 1. To be treated with dignity, respect, and sensitivity.
Victims generally have the right to be treated with courtesy, fairness, and care by law enforcement and other officials throughout the entire criminal justice process. This right is included in the constitutions of most states that have victims' rights amendments and in the statutes of more than half the states. 2. Victim impact statements
Victim impact statements allow crime victims, during the decision-making process on sentencing or parole, to describe to the court or parole board the impact of the crime on their lives. The victim impact statement may include a description of psychological, financial, physical, or emotional harm the victim experienced as a result of the crime. A judge may use information from these statements to help determine an offender's sentence; a parole board may use such information to help decide whether to grant a parole and what conditions to impose in releasing an offender. Many victims have reported that making victim impact statements improved their satisfaction with the criminal justice process and helped them recover from the crime. In some states, the prosecutor is required to confer with the victim before making important decisions. In all states, however, the prosecutor (and not the victim) makes decisions about the case. 3. Right to Be Informed
The purpose of this right is to make sure that victims have the information they need to exercise their rights and to seek services and resources that are available to them. Victims generally have the right to receive information about victims' rights, victim compensation (see "Right to Apply for Compensation," below), available services and resources, how to contact criminal justice officials, and what to expect in the criminal justice system. Victims also usually have the right to receive notification of important events in their cases. Although state laws vary, most states require that victims receive notice of the following events: •the arrest and arraignment of the offender
•dismissal of charges
•sentencing / trial
•probation or parole hearings
•release or escape of the offender
States have different ways of providing such information to victims. Usually, information about court proceedings is mailed to the victim. Some states have an automated victim notification system that automatically calls or e-mails the victim with updates on the status of the offender, while others require the victim to telephone the authorities to receive such updates. 4. Right to Protection
In many states, victims have the right to protection from threats, intimidation, or retaliation during criminal proceedings. Depending on the jurisdiction, victims may receive the following types of protection: •police escorts
•witness protection programs
Some states also have laws to protect the employment of victims who are attending criminal proceedings (see "Right to Attend Criminal Proceedings," above). 5. Right to Apply for Compensation
All states provide crime victim compensation to reimburse victims of violent crime for some of the out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from the crime. The purpose of compensation is to recognize victims' financial losses and to help them recover some of these costs. All states have a cap on the total compensation award for each crime, and not all crime-related expenses are covered. To be eligible for compensation, victims must submit an application, usually within a certain period of time, and...
References: The National Center of Victims of Crimes. (2012) Retrieved from http://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/victims '-rights
Crime Victims Rights Acts (2010) Retrieved from http://www.justice.gov/usao/briefing_room/vw/rights.html
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